UCAS applications

(469 Posts)
mumblechum1 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:24:31

When are people's DCs planning on finalising their personal statements, with a view to getting the UCAS applns sent off?

DS's school have done the grade predictions but as far as I know haven't done the reference bit yet.

DS has done the first draft of his PS, has feedback from his tutor and is aiming to polish it up this weekend.

<<prays everyone isn't going to post that their DCs applicacations were submitted to UCAS last month and have already got their offers>> wink

Milliways Tue 18-Dec-12 17:03:56

Sorry - I just meant once you have all your offers in, the decisions can begin. We are already getting the literature on accommodation choices etc, which is what made me think.

Good idea to wait for Jan results though.

mumeeee Wed 19-Dec-12 22:17:35

DD3's application has finally gone to UCAS so now we start the waiting time.

When do applications for funding go in, anyone know?

That will have an impact on our choice of accomodation-do you have to sort that at the same time you accept the offer?

MABS Thu 27-Dec-12 09:47:12

wondered the same thing re funding?

eatyourveg Thu 27-Dec-12 20:22:26

student finance England doesn't open for 2013 applications until february - Scotland Wales and NI may be different though

You don't have to sort it at the same time as the offer but it is best to get it done earlier rather than later.

ds did it during the easter hols last year and it took 2 months to sort (think it is normally a quicker turn around but we had to send various bits to prove income and then for some reason something didn't tally so we had to resend it all again)

there is an online calculator somewhere (someone will hopefully come along with the link) which gives you an idea of how much you would get which you might find useful when looking at the various accommodation costs

fussychica Fri 28-Dec-12 14:58:35

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator

This is what you want. If you have any unusual circumstances best apply as early as possible. We had to do a paper application and after a couple of month rang to check progress only to be told they said they never received it. It wasn't finally sorted until August instead of June but still in plenty of time before term started.

peteneras Fri 28-Dec-12 18:32:14

(1) ”. . .but we had to send various bits to prove income and then for some reason something didn't tally so we had to resend it all again”

(2) ”We had to do a paper application and after a couple of month rang to check progress only to be told they said they never received it.”

This is what Student Finance England seems to be doing to everybody. They mess you around for months on end giving you the impression that all’s OK after you’ve applied and you hear nothing from them for months. And when you finally ring to enquire, they tell you this bit and that bit is missing and you’ll have to redo everything again. Many times over! They piss you (me) about and when I finally got my MP to deal with them, everything went like a dream.

I say, don’t let them piss you about any further - just go straight to your MP and complain. Like I said above, they seem to be making a habit now delaying everybody’s money which is rightfully due to them. Students at unis are having a hard enough time without SFE messing them about. It's not as if this money is given away free; it's a loan, get it (?) a LOAN which got to be repaid at a future date. What business is it of SFE's sitting on their money? angry

creamteas Fri 28-Dec-12 18:44:14

They are pretty useless, and I say this both from the perspective as a parent and a lecturer!

One of my personal tutees only received their loan in the last week of term despite applying in March! Thankfully as he is in uni halls, he is was not threatened with eviction, and he has had crisis loans from student support to keep him in food!

Yellowtip Sat 29-Dec-12 21:51:11

It's far too unwieldy to bother with MPs. Just another layer of hassle. If you send in a paper application and send it by registered post having photocopied it so you can recite the bits they say are missing, the process also works like a dream.

A hugely incompetent organisation. You just have to outwit them.

peteneras Sun 30-Dec-12 08:52:44

What you described is just the normal basic procedure in the application process that most people would do including myself. What we are talking is we know we have sent in everything they asked for and recorded delivery too. In their laziness and incompetence they say they haven’t received them in spite of the fact a previous enquiry had them confirmed that they had received them. It’s a case of the head doesn’t know where the tail is wagging.

Don’t know about your MP but my MP is only too happy to raise the matter with the Chief Executive of Student Finance. He clearly agrees with me the whole SFE needs a good shaking up.

Yellowtip Sun 30-Dec-12 10:31:21

I am a past master with SFE peterenas. They've done what you describe multiple times in the cases of my four university aged DC. It's an annual and very tedious event. It would be far too time consuming to go to our local MP and rather a waste of his time, so I just sort it myself. It doesn't generally require more than going up the chain of command myself and keeping clear headed. I agree the organisation is incompetent though; I may have said that to them many times smile

Yellowtip Sun 30-Dec-12 10:33:53

Keep a record of all phone calls with the date and time of call and the name of the SFE opeator that you spoke to, having checked that the conversation in question has been noted in full on the application of the student in question.

eatyourveg Sun 30-Dec-12 13:07:21

Where do you get all the forms for a paper application? When I asked last year they said I had to do it online and when I asked what VI students were supposed to do they said that their college would do it for them. I knew it was a load of tosh when she said it but didn't have a clue about the system so just accepted it and took a screen print.

Definitely going to go for paper application this year

Ponders Sun 30-Dec-12 13:15:38

the one time we had issues with a finance application I emailed customer complaints with a detailed list of their incompetences & threatened to complain to my MP.

The threat alone, apparently, was enough to generate a swift response from an individual at Darlington; thereafter all transactions went through her & she was very efficient, to be fair.

It was a nightmare though. And they still managed to fail to return one P60 confused but luckily it hasn't been needed for anything since (& in fact subsequent applications haven't required documentation, thank goodness)

Yellowtip Sun 30-Dec-12 16:03:58

I ask them for paper copies for all four DC and if they don't arrive within ten days I ask them again. You're right eatyourveg, it's tosh (as is so much of what the individual operators say): they're obliged to send paper copies. It would take me hours to print them all out - bad enough filling the wretched forms in - so I let SFE take that particular strain.

CowboyTakeMeAway Sat 05-Jan-13 13:45:16

I hope it's OK to bump this thread; my DS sent off his UCAS application just before Xmas and I'm already slightly worried that he may have been too 'realistic' in his choices.

He's received one offer so far from his first choice, which is great, however this particular university stated in their Entry Requirements they'd make offers between 260-300 UCAS points. So, as my DS has predicted grades of BBC, he thought this would be a good fit for him. However, the offer they have made is for 230 points (which means he will probably get a place there with actual grades of CCD or thereabouts!).

I'm now thinking that he may have underestimated his chances at higher ranking unversities, ie, all his choices are universities of a similar standing - apart from one aspirational choice where they state they will make offers from BBB-ABB, so he might get an offer from them.

I guess my point is; are applications massively down this year? Or has my DS been too cautious?

It's not really a problem because he has his heart set on the 230 point University, but I thought I'd throw it out for discussion/reassurance anyway!

creamteas Sat 05-Jan-13 14:14:41

Cowboy applications are down nationally and many universities (including RG) did not fill their places last year. Also the Government have changed the rules regarding recruitment again (so any student with ABB+ or equivalent is outside of the controlled numbers quota)

This means that overall offers are likely to be lower than in previous years for many subjects/universities and many universities are making offers to everyone who applies with the right predicted grades. (There will be job losses at universities that do not manage to get their places filled this year, so lots of places are getting desperate)

But at this stage don't worry about it too much. If on results day your DS does better than expected and wants to get a place somewhere else, he will probably be able to.

Clearing was manic last year with huge numbers of students rejecting their firm places and going elsewhere. I should imagine it will be the same this year as well.

CowboyTakeMeAway Sat 05-Jan-13 15:15:03

Creamteas, thank you for your reassuring post, even made more so by you being an admissions tutor!

I think what we are beginning to regret slightly, is not looking at so-called better universities than the actual ones my DS did go to visit. For example, he liked the look of Brunel, but they were asking for ABB for his course, so he didn't bother, thinking he had no chance. This was mainly because of his school banging on about 'being realistic' (I guess they couldn't predict the downturn of applications - although there may be a late surge next week?).

But, as you say, there is the possiblity of going through Adjustment, so all is not lost. Also, he may get an offer from his aspirational choice, which will then mean throwing another dilemma into the mix!

Thanks again.

creamteas Sat 05-Jan-13 15:53:41

The really important thing to remember is don't go anywhere you are not certain about. If you can't get the place you want this year, it is better to withdraw an application, and reapply later on.

Apart from anything else, dealing with unhappy students who are doing the wrong course or at the wrong university for them is not an easy thing to sort. It is much better to arrive later but really sure about what you are doing grin

CowboyTakeMeAway Sat 05-Jan-13 18:10:40

I hear what you're saying - thank you! smile

greyvix Sun 06-Jan-13 01:13:40

In my opinion, the colleges are encouraging students to be "realistic" rather than aspirational. MY DS was advised to apply for an insurance uni below AAB, despite his predictions being A*AA. He ignored them, and currently has offers from 3 unis, ranging from AAA to AAB. He still has no offers from the higher unis (usually A*AA) but is pleased with those he has so far.

Clearing will be a good bet for many this year I think. Last year, there were lots of good courses at RG unis at clearing; this year, there are likely to be more, so don't despair!

creamteas Sun 06-Jan-13 09:05:32

Greyvix Schools are right to be cautious and encourage at least one proper insurance offer.

Last years A levels grades were significantly down on previous years. Only about 50% of our firm offers got their predicted grades (usually it is about 75%) and many students predicted AAAs ended up with BBB. This is why so many RG unis went into clearing.

Anyone making ABB (apart from on restricted numbers courses such as medicine) should be ok. But it doesn't hurt to have a fallback position in the bag.

mumblechum1 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:15:47

creamteas (I owe you at least one drink by now for previous help), my ds bombed his ASs, so his predictions are now BBC.

He has an offer from Manchester for BBB (he emailed them to ask whether they would consider him beforehand and they said that as long as his PS and reference were ok, they would).

Also has an offer of BBC for UWE and for Portsmouth,

and of BCC for LJMU.

He has a retake of one of his AS modules in Jan, together with a module of an A2, and I believe will know in March how he's done in those.

So my question is, if the result of those retakes still puts him in the BBC basket, do you think he should firm Manchester (by far his favourite) in the hope that they have to fill their quota so will take him even though he's one grade down, or should he go on the side of safety and firm a BBC with a BCC as insurance?

It seems a bit of a gamble, but if RG unis were accepting people without the grades last year, hopefully it'll be the same this year?

I'd really appreciate your view! Thanks

creamteas Sun 06-Jan-13 09:28:25

Mummble I think it really depends on what results he gets in Jan and how much he wants to go to Manchester.

Assuming his results are ok in Jan, if he really, really wants Manchester, then that should be his firm (and hopefully give him incentive to get the BBB). If he would be equally happy at UWE or Portsmouth then perhaps play it safe.

There are less people applying this year, and many unis want to make up for the places that were unfilled last year, but what and how much is available will be determined by what the A level results look like overall.

mumblechum1 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:31:15

Thank you for your speedy reply creamteas smile

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